Union announces strike ballot over O2 outsourcing

O2 call centre workers across the UK consider strike action over potential changes to their employment due to Capita outsourcing contract

Workers at O2 call centres across the UK will decide whether to go on strike over potential changes to their employment as a result of a major outsourcing contract between O2 and Capita.

The Communications Workers Union (CWU) is holding a strike ballot of workers based in Bury, Glasgow, Leeds and Preston Brook.

In May, O2 announced it was outsourcing the management of its customer services centres to Capita in a 10-year deal, expected to be worth about £1.2bn. The agreement will see Capita support O2’s efforts to increase the digital services it offers its customers.

According to a report last week customer service facilities will be closed and jobs cut. 

Andy Kerr, CWU deputy general secretary, said: "We're already two weeks into the 41-day consultation period and we've made no progress at all on key issues.

"Trust is at rock bottom, made worse by media speculation around site closures and offshoring work. Our members don't know who to trust and we feel like we've been lied to by O2 and Capita. We've been left no option by the company but to hold this ballot, and they know this."

But O2 had earlier denied claims made about proposed redundancies and closures. O2 told Computer Weekly these were just some of the options available to Capita when it takes over the contract.

Ballot papers will be sent out on 7 June and the closing date will be 18 June, when the result is expected.

In response to the strike ballot, an O2 spokesperson said: “We are disappointed. We’re committed to meeting the CWU as frequently as necessary to discuss their concerns with the aim of reaching agreement and avoiding the ballot and any subsequent industrial action.”



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